I know there is the +i flag for files and directories, but i have a deeper Problem.

Is there a way to prevent a folder from being deleted by an User which should be able to create / access / remove files and folders INSIDE the delete-protected folder?

The sudo chattr +i testfolder flag wont help because then a user can only read files, but not create or delete these.

The sudo chattr +a testfolder flag wonth either help because then a user can write and read files, but only append edit files and dont remove them.

I need a solution where a user is able to write, access and remove Files but can't delete the root/parent folder.


This is basically what the /tmp folder is for. So just set the permissions that same as /tmp:

chmod --reference=/tmp testfolder

The testfolder should be owned by a different user (e.g. root). The user will be able to wrx files and folders under testfolder, but will not be able to remove or modify the testfolder.

For example:

[root@host ~]# mkdir /test
[root@host ~]# chmod --reference=/tmp /test
[root@host ~]# ls -ld /test
drwxrwxrwt 2 root root 4096 Feb 15 09:33 /test/
[root@host ~]# su - user
[user@host ~]$ mkdir /test/foo
[user@host ~]$ rm -fr /test
rm: cannot remove `/test': Permission denied

As you can see, user can create files and dirs under /test, but is not allowed to remove it.

  • Thanks for your solution, but the user is still able to remove the folder ... – fechnert Feb 15 '16 at 13:29
  • The user must not be the owner of testfolder or its parent. – gogators Feb 15 '16 at 13:34
  • Exactly this was the case. Try it yourself – fechnert Feb 15 '16 at 14:30
  • I updated the answer with an example that show the user can not remove the directory. – gogators Feb 15 '16 at 14:39
  • 1
    @kevin-vw It depends on permissions of parent folder – Laurentiu Roescu Feb 15 '16 at 15:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.